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AMIGOS DE BOLIVIA Y PERÚ

7327 University Avenue,
Glen Echo,
MD. 20812
(301) 320-5068
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Bolivia & Peru - 2020

 

 

Amigos de Bolivia y Peru welcomes Peru PCVs upon their return to the U.S.  We know, from our 2008 experience when all 130 PCVs from Bolivia were evacuated quickly, that this is an unsettling, often agonizing action.  Please contact us (glorialevin@verizon.net) so we can learn of your needs and attempt to assist you.  We share your love of Peru, always our second home.

Two items here from Glen Blumhorst.

1. Letter from NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst.

2. Article, Chicago Tribune, (March 21, 2020): Commentary: Peace Corps evacuated all 7,300 of its volunteers due to coronovirus. They need immediate help.

Gloria Levin, President
(RPCV, Arequipa, Peru)
Amigos de Bolivia y Peru


 

1. Letter from NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst.#

NPCA Response to COVID-19 and Peace Corps Evacuation

 

Through their personal stories and photos shared on social media over the last few days, an entire Peace Corps community has vicariously lived the shocking reality of 7,000+ serving PCVs evacuating from 60 countries around the world. This traumatic interruption of service is not the way a PCV envisions their service to end - with unfinished projects, unsung farewells, unrung COS bells, and unsaid goodbyes. 

To the PCV evacuees, my heartfelt sympathy. I share your grief. As you return home, know that there is an empathetic and caring Peace Corps community awaiting you with our collective embrace. We are thousands of returned Peace Corps Volunteers (including many whose service had also been cut short), former staff, host country nationals, family and friends who care deeply for you.

This unprecedented moment calls for an extraordinary response. Be assured that National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is committed to providing the substantive support that our RPCVs deserve. We hear you and are responding. In the coming days, you can expect:

  • collaborative effort forged among the Peace Corps agency, NPCA, and the greater Peace Corps community to support evacuated RPCVs upon their arrival home
  • A comprehensive Global Reentry program designed by NPCA especially for evacuated RPCVs with support and services tailored to their needs and expectations
  • Rollout of an array of academic and career resources to assist evacuated RPCVs in taking the next step in their professional pathways
  • Connections to an emerging RPCV peer support network and local RPCV groups to provide emotional, moral, and logistical support  
  • Updates on how, through NPCA, we can collectively advocate for the benefits and entitlements evacuated RPCVs deserve, as well to ensure the future of the Peace Corps

For those of us in the Peace Corps community who are able to provide financial leadership, the Benevolent Fund will enable NPCA to support urgent needs of evacuated RPCVs. 

This is an amazing and resilient Peace Corps community. Thank you for all you do to serve one another and the world.

I am at your service,

Glenn Blumhorst
NPCA President & CEO

======================================================================

 

2. Article, Chicago Tribune, (March 21, 2020).

Commentary: Peace Corps evacuated all 7,300 of its volunteers due to coronavirus. They need immediate help.

March 21, 2020 - Original article: Chicago Tribune

By Glenn Blumhorst

Imagine, if you can, a scenario in which the Department of Defense saw the need to recall for emergency security purposes the entirety of its service corps in one fell swoop. That’s essentially what happened over the past week, when the U.S. Peace Corps agency made the difficult and unprecedented decision to suspend its programs indefinitely, evacuating all 7,300 volunteers serving in more than 60 countries — including 280 from Illinois — due to the coronavirus outbreak and informing them their service has ended.

As the virus spread rapidly worldwide, travel restrictions quickly tightened, risks to the personal health of volunteers rose rapidly and the window to bring America’s “grassroots diplomats” home was closing swiftly. Understandably, the top priority of the agency was ensuring the safety and security of volunteers overseas. But today many returning volunteers feel like they have been fired and left with no benefits and little support as they arrive home.

To its credit, the agency remains focused on the complex process of bringing all volunteers home safely. Meanwhile, the broader Peace Corps community, which includes more than 250,000 Returned Peace Corps volunteers over the past 59 years, is rallying to welcome and support our courageous volunteers — these diplomats of peace and goodwill — in returning to a very different home environment than which they left, with an uncertain short-term future ahead.

Having left my rural Missouri home to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala from 1988 to 1991, I felt a visceral connection with the 169 volunteers preparing to leave Guatemala on Wednesday. They shared personal stories and photos on social media, trying to come to grips with what it means to be evacuated from the schools and host families and wider communities they were part of. As they said their goodbyes, I imagine every one of them pledged to return. One day they will.

As the White House and Congress respond to this crisis, perhaps the most complex since World War II, it is important that our returning 7,300 volunteers and the Peace Corps itself not get lost in the shuffle. The White House and Congress should step in quickly to assure Peace Corps volunteers and the public at large that this institution launched by President John F. Kennedy does not become another tragic victim of the coronavirus.

The first step: Congress should include in its massive appropriations packages funds to cover evacuation costs and eventual rehiring and redeployment of many of the current volunteers who wish to return to their countries once the crisis is over.

In addition, evacuated volunteers need additional immediate assistance including:

  • Adequate coverage for physical and mental health.
  • Support in finding work in their U.S. communities here so they can apply their special skill sets to help their communities overcome this pandemic.
  • Appropriate exceptions to current policies related to student loans, graduate school, unemployment eligibility and federal hiring.

I fully realize the Peace Corps community is not alone in its needs. Every extended family, every sector of our economy and every state faces current or pending hardship. But I do raise these concerns, because too often in previous policy conversations the challenges and needs of the Peace Corps community are forgotten at worst, an afterthought at best. In recent months, the Peace Corps already faced threats to its funding and independence.

Why does that matter? There is unfinished business that only Peace Corps volunteers can do. Peace Corps’ underlying mission — to promote world peace and friendship — is as vital today as it was when the program began nearly 60 years ago.

In the meantime, these returned Peace Corps volunteers will join the ranks of nearly a quarter million others who have served their country. They will be America’s next generation of diplomats and international business leaders, educators and entrepreneurs, philanthropists and public servants, globally informed writers and scientists. Undoubtedly, many will serve on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response in America, having honed their cultural, language and community health skills working on HIV/AIDS, malaria and polio programs while in the Peace Corps. Their two-year experience abroad returns a lifetime domestic dividend.

Time and again, volunteers learn the importance of resilience and flexibility in the face of crisis and sclerotic systems. After their service, many build on the connections they made internationally — to foster economic development and educate girls, tackle public health and the local impacts of climate change. Their optimism and commitment are crucial in a world where more people increasingly question the viability of democracy itself.

Fighting Words Newsletter

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The fact is that Returned Peace Corps volunteers are all around you. When you meet one, thank them for their service. Take the time to listen to their stories. Let your member of Congress know that you value the Peace Corps and its mission at home and abroad.

These are unprecedented times, and many of us feel overwhelmed. Just as we will certainly respond and rally our nation back from the depths of this pandemic, we must also respond to the world and rally our nation to support Peace Corps’ redeployment across the globe.

Latest Commentary

The pandemic reminds us that Americans — for better and for worse — are citizens of an interconnected world. Peace Corps volunteers are essential to our national understanding of that world in a way that contributes to the health, well-being and security of our country. So I hope and believe that Americans will rally behind this proud institution as it would its other service organizations, and that the Peace Corps will emerge from this hiatus a stronger, better organization.

Glenn Blumhorst is president and CEO of National Peace Corps Association.

Submit a letter, of no more than 400 words, email letters@chicagotribune.com.

 



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Deceased PC-Bolivia & PC-Peru Volunteers/Staff

Below are listed RPCVs who have died in 2018 & 2019 that we know of or earlier that we just found out about. If you find a name listed, click on it to go to the page on this site listing all the deceased PC-Bolivia & PC-Peru Volunteers and Staff for whom we have information posted. You can always check there for others you may have known as well.

You will find this section using the menu on the left:
Go to RELATED ➞ Go to RPCVs ➞ Choose DECEASED PC Bolivia & Peru...
Listings are alphabetical by country.

If you have information about others who should be listed, please let us know at:
Amigos Email Thanks.

Bolivia: 2019 & 2020 Deceased

Peru: 2019 & 2020 Deceased



Peace Corps announces major changes to application process
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Amigos de Bolivia y Peru, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation, mostly of former Peace Corps Volunteers, affiliated with the National Peace Corps Association.

Membership is open to anyone interested in our activities for bridging contacts and cooperation between the people of Peru and Bolivia and the rest of the world.

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Laguna Colorada - Altiplano Boliviano